I love the web because it gives me access to resources that further my ambitions. Right now, I'm learning French and I really want to immerse myself in the language by living in a francophone country. Using the web, I can not only pursue a career that I love, but I can work from anywhere I want! 🏖️
The web gives people freedom of choice. This is why User Experience (UX) and Accessibility are important. Everyone regardless OF disabilities should be able to equally enjoy the web and get access to its resources.
UX is about making decisions based on the need and feedback of users. For the past couple of months, I have been deep diving into fundamentals of UX. And I love it!
I feel like having this user-centered mindset has really made me a better and happier developer. I went from trying to crank out a lot of features to trying to have the most positive impact on the users. If you ask me, the latter is a better success metric 😀.
This is the section where I brag about my past year successes!
After I graduated from college in January 2017, I spent 5 months self-teaching myself web development and looking for jobs. After that, I landed a front-end development internship and did that for 7 months. In January 2018, I was offered a full-time position at the place I interned at! My official title is UI Developer (front-end dev).
I convinced the product owners to allow time for me to build in responsive design. This major change opened up more opportunities for this project to be of more use to the users.
In my article You're Doing UX Unconsciously 😴, Now Let's Make It Conscious ⏰ and Intentional 💪, I talk about how I found out I was already applying UX principle without even knowing and then introduced it to my team. This led us to be more intentional about our user experience. (Please read the article, if you want to know more about this!)
4. I leveled up my design & dev skills by helping out the #CauseAScene movement.
Before this project, I never worked with Wordpress, php, fonts or designed a site from scratch. With the help of various online and offline resources, I was able to iteratively create a site for #causeascene CONF. This site is now being used to amplify and benefit the voices of marginalized people around the world! Here is the conferences page and here is the #causeascene San Francisco Conference page. (Please support #causeascene CONF when it comes to your town!)
In our case, mentorship is having someone you can talk to, vent to, learn from that is not your manager. My colleague and I felt a need for mentorship during our internship the previous year. So we started a weekly program where interns could get their questions answered.
Our goal was to create an authentic, slightly informal environment were interns could ask questions without fear of being judged. We tried to answer as many questions as we could and we invited qualified guests to answer questions we couldn't.
I even got a chance to indoctrinate the interns. I gave one lecture about the JSON format and other about the Foundation of UX
In my organization, there is UX and design teams on the business (customer facing) side of the organization but not for internal applications (associate facing). This leads me to my super ambitious goal of embedding UX design in our internal applications culture. To make this goal seem less overwhelming I broken it into smaller steps:
- Learn more about the business side, our application users, and customers.
- Survey and identify opportunities where UX will provide the most value (business and user-wise), then create a value proposition doc.
- Investigate how to incorporate the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2) into the UX design strategy.
- Initiate a draft or outline for a Design System for Internal Apps
Right now I’m a UI developer (Front end dev) I take business requirements and implement them technologically. I want to expand this role so that I will have more part in making sure requirements and designs bring value to application users.
I wrote this article because of its performance review time and I have been thinking about my accomplishments and goals. I thought writing this publicly would help with self-accountability.
Secondly, Aaron Gustafson @aarongustafson is accepting mentorship applications.
I plan on submitting my application along with this article. If you are looking for a mentor in tech and qualify (please read his article to find out if you do), I encourage you to apply also!
All in all, using the web as a tool has given me so many opportunities! I'm very proud of my accomplishments and I'm excited about the future!